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Barnes or sheen?

(24 Posts)
Marsh08 Thu 28-Jul-11 12:00:12

Found out last week that we are relocating to london from bath. Used to live in hammersmith 5 years ago, but ds 3.5 and dd 2 so thinking of barns or east sheen. We checked out the areas a bit for two days last week, but schools closed and with the kids, so really just saw barns wetlands! Have latched onto st osmonds and sheen mount as they were in a review and we could find rentals v close to schools . I'm more worried about how friendly these places are! Anyone have any experience of either? Also can anyone recommend any good preschools - hoping I'm not going to spend the yr before ds school in 2012 wandering Richmond park with 2 toddlers!

mumonahottinroof Thu 28-Jul-11 15:28:56

You need to be a practising Catholic and prove it, to get into St Osmund's. With Sheen Mount i believe you need to live literally opoosite the school to get a place so be careful - very close might not be close enough. i don't have personal experience of either so can't help on friendliness front, mums I know with kids at one of these schools seem friendly enough. There are dozens of pre schools in the area, you should have no problem finding a good one

QuintessentialShadow Thu 28-Jul-11 15:38:41

I have just been researching this area as we are moving there ourselves next month. (lived in the area before)

East Sheen Primary and Barnes Primary are also Ofsted Outstanding and very popular, and with some availability. What year groups are you looking for?

St Osmunds is great, but you need to be a practicing Catholic. Equally St Mary Magdalens.

If you live down towards the north of Barnes, you "risk" getting into Lowther, which is not as great (but with ofsted "good" ranking), and with availability in most year groups, not surprisingly. Most parents in that area send their children to St Pauls and The Harrodean (which are public schools).

I would stick to Barnes Sheen borders and opt for East Sheen primary and Barnes.

Houses around Sheen mount start at 800.000 to buy, and the rentals near the school are from 3500 pcm. Whereas in Barnes and East sheen, you can get away with buying for around 580.000 upwards and paying around 2000 pcm for rental. The catchment area of sheen mount is very small, as it is a small school (but will be a two form entry within the next few years).

Will you buy or rent?

singersgirl Thu 28-Jul-11 16:09:40

Sheen Mount is already 2 form entry but will be 3 form entry in a 'shared bulge year' with a couple of other schools (every third year each will be 3 form). But still very difficult to get into.

teacherwith2kids Thu 28-Jul-11 17:11:33


I would get hold of all the data you can about furthest admission distance for each school in the area (should be a published report re admissions each year) as 'close' by a normal human definition will not always translate into 'close enough' in school admissions terms!

Marsh08 Thu 28-Jul-11 18:52:39

Thank you - it's all really helpful.

I hadn't thought too much about east sheen but really at might be better for us - looks great on paper.

We'll definitely rent for a while and ds reception 2012 & dd 2013 so we should be there just in time, although we have to move into a catchment in august, without actually seeing the school - not ideal! Hence the panic. As for barnes they had bulge yr two yrs ago so I'm slightly terrified it will fill with siblings alone!

QuintessentialShadow Thu 28-Jul-11 20:02:42

I know people with children in East Sheen primary, and they are very happy with the school. It is nice. I have been there, picked up my friends daughter with her.

spottyock Thu 28-Jul-11 21:35:16

I know the schools quite well and from my POV if you are not Catholic then I would look at:
Barnes Primary - the Head is very dynamic and passionate.
East Sheen - Nice Head and some colleagues send their children there and are very happy.

I would probably avoid Sheen Mount. Great grounds but personally do not understand the hype it gets. Lowther does not have great reviews but the staff there are passionate although some children can be tricky customers! Holy Trinity tends to have a good intake in the infants but tends to lose them in the juniors for some reason. Marshgate opened with pomp and ceremony but again tends to lose children along the way. That said, I have met some of the staff and they seem lovely.

Otherwise the 3 Catholic schools in the area are St. Osmond's, St. Mary Magdalen's and St. Elizabeth's. St. E's has an excellent OFSTED but I would recommend looking around all of the schools - they all have a very different feel.

Feel free to PM me if you want any more information.

namedchangedforthis Thu 28-Jul-11 22:26:45

As my name indicates i've changed it, so as not to be recognised

As a Lowther parent it really annoys me to see messages like the above on a public forum. Lowther is a fantastic school and several parents, including me, have actively chosen it over the so-called outstanding schools in the area and the private schools. I have no idea where you get this "tricky customers" idea from but it's absolute nonsense. The grounds are fantastic, the new building is wonderful, the building about to go up will be even better, the staff are - as you say - passionate. It is more socially mixed than other schools in the area but imo that it preferable to the homogenity found elsewhere. It sounds like the OP's ruled it out anyway but I'd hate anyone else looking at this to be put off

Hellishday Fri 29-Jul-11 15:07:54

Agree with namedchangeforthis.
Excellent passionate staff at Lowther, and a vibrant lively school.

PirateDinosaur Fri 29-Jul-11 15:20:38

To be honest pretty much all the primary schools in East Sheen are good. Even the less thought of schools there would be "kill to get into" schools in many other areas of London.

Elibean Fri 29-Jul-11 22:13:28

Another one who chose Lowther over the others in the area (including the independent primaries).

No regrets, dd1 half way through and dd2 about to start - so glad we chose it.

Elibean Fri 29-Jul-11 22:14:45

Mind you, the selfish part of me would quite like it not to get as over-subscribed as the others - so quite happy for people to stay ignorant about it!

lililolo Sun 31-Jul-11 01:52:21

I can't tell you how happy I am to read this thread. My daughter has just been offered a place at Lowther, and it's about 1.5 miles from where we live. Her current place is in a church school which we weren't happy about. We were going to accept the place at Lowther, but with some reservations due to the rumour mill. Fortunately other parents I know and trust are sending their children there having looked around all the local schools and are very happy about it. The latter comments on this thread have made me feel very excited for D to go there!

Elibean - see you at the reception gates!

lililolo Sun 31-Jul-11 01:55:42

OP - Barnes and East Sheen are lovely places to live. I am in the middle in Mortlake so make use of the facilities of both and am very happy here. Barnes is nicer in terms of having a central 'village' feel, but I like East Sheen too, the shops are a lot better and you can access richmond Park easily. It took me a while to get used to it here (I am an urban gal at heart) but I really love it now.

lililolo Sun 31-Jul-11 02:00:58

Oh, and!! East Sheen was my no1 choice for DD (still is, we can walk there and it's a lovely school) but the head is changing. The head was the thing I liked most about it, so might be worth finding out what the new one is like in a month or two.

The catchment is tiny - we live 625 meters away but are no.37 on the waiting list, so that is worth bearing in mind. You really do have to live quite close to get in. I think it was 500 and something this year. Barnes was even smaller - about 400. You hear all sorts of stories about people renting the former council flats for several £KK to get their kids in as it saves them in the long term in school fees!

There is also a rumour that Richmond are going to scrap the sibling policy, and that is definitely worth bearing in mind / asking people about.

Elibean Sun 31-Jul-11 15:17:36

<shudder> at thought of sibling rule going - we wouldn't have got into Lowther, for dd2, if it already had.

lililolo, one of the KS1 teachers lives in Mortlake and hasn't got her son into Sheen either. You are right about the tiny catchment, and yes it is a lovely school too. We're spoilt for primaries, in Richmond, really smile

See you in September...

singersgirl Sun 31-Jul-11 15:51:14

New head at East Sheen is wonderful! grin

lililolo Mon 01-Aug-11 00:09:03

That's great singersgirl. East Sheen is a great school, I'm glad it will carry on being fab!

Elibean, I think everyone who applied to Lowther this year (as their first choice) got in, so you probably would have been fine. But I agree it would be v. sad to get rid of the sibling policy. The few are spoiling it for the many families who live here and just want to get their child into a local school sad

I never thought I'd buy in to all this school stuff, it's so ridiculous!

Elibean Mon 01-Aug-11 11:27:39

Its very ridiculous at times: hang on to that thought and you will retain some sanity grin

Kora Thu 04-Aug-11 21:58:05

The schools in both areas are very good. I'm sure you're doing this already, but look beyond the schools and go and spend a day wandering around each place, check out information on the local community playgroups, evening classes, shops, libraries, GPs, transport links etc - which are the services you'll use day to day. Then just go for your gut feel. As someone who grew up locally, I'd say they're similar places but I'd say Barnes always felt a bit more villagey, whereas Sheen is perhaps a bit more international these days. Both have pros and cons - depends what you like! See Barnes village website and Times Article on East Sheen.

Marsh08 Sat 06-Aug-11 13:51:51

Thank you so much, we exchanged on our house yesterday and are going to barnes in sept. V scarey but also exciting. Yes, went on gut feel in end. Have got 3.5yr old into preschool from nov but still to find anything at all for 2.5th old dd. Any tips on what classes /groups I could take them to in barnes / sheen. Thought little gym, and looks like a few playgroups in barnes.

Elibean Sat 06-Aug-11 21:14:52

You'll be fine, its a good place in many ways smile

Lots for 2.5 year olds to do. Playgroups at St Osmunds, Kitson Hall, Mortlake...oh, loads. Ducks to feed by the pond, the OSO cafe next to it, or ASK for occasional pizzas...

You'll be able to ask pre-school mums for tips, I'm a bit out of date as youngest is 4.5 and starting Reception, but there are lots of music classes etc. Good luck with the actual move!

spottyock Mon 24-Oct-11 09:58:21

Namechangedforthis- I have, in the past, worked at Lowther for a short while. Don't wish to give too much away but that's where I got the idea of some of the children being tricky customers.
I didn't slate the school- in fact I would rather hear a school has passionate staff than outstanding in OFSTED.

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